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2nd rehearsal in CUBA

September 3.

After listening to the recording I made of yesterday’s rehearsal I have decided to add a cuban drum set player to the band. The rehearsal was missing good cymbals and a few other bits and pieces.

Have also decided to drop one chart “Slow Moving Octopus” as it was consuming too much rehearsal time. I’ve replaced it with another ballad of mine which will done in a ‘danson’ style.

We were hoping that Rodney Barretto (from Chucho Valdes’s band) would be available. He would make a perfect addition as he plays with the current musicians already. Unfortunately he is unavailable. Oliver Valdes Will be joining us. Another powerhouse.

2nd rehearsal went well. There are going to be some amazing musical moments on the recording.

Everyone is still enjoying my compositions, the ones I’ve chosen to record with the Cubans lend themselves well to the Cuban flavour.

I’m especially glad that i had planned much of the arrangments prior to rehearsal. Its amazing how many musical decisions have to be made on the fly but so good to have some foundation ideas planned already. It’s a great thing to have much experience, persistence, and be willing to adapt what you have written.

The musicians are tiring of the rehearsing, and we will need another rehearsal tomorrow with the drum set player, however, I’m convinced it will be short in duration. I hope that none of their enthusiasm wanes.

The Cuban musicians never cease to amaze me. The bass player, Gaston, sat at the piano in a quiet moment of rehearsal and started playing. He plays better piano than most pianists I know! Apparently he’s also great on conga. He also knows most jazz standards and is good friends with Mark Levine.

Today I paid for the recording time I had booked at Egrem. Always a little slow in the office. I was asked about whether I wanted to mix and edit at the studio also. I was a little reserved not knowing how good the sound engineer was (a few of the musicians had spoke very highly of him). I was offered a 40% discount as an incentive.

Observations:
– never leave home without toilet paper in CUBA. Let’s just say that today I discovered another use for sheet music 😉

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